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Artavasdes

Ἀρταουάσδης or Ἀρταβάσδης), ARTAUASDES (Ἀρταουάσδης), or ARTABAZES (Ἀρταβάζης), called by the Armenian historians, Artawazt. 1. King of the Greater Armenia, succeeded his father Tigranes I(II). In the expedition of Crassus against the Parthians, B. C. 54, Artavasdes was an ally of the Romans; but when Orodes, the king of Parthia, invaded Media, and Artavasdes was unable to obtain assistance from the Romans, he concluded a peace with the Parthian king, and gave his sister or daughter in marriage to Pacorus, the son of Orodes. When Pacorus subsequently invaded Syria, in B. C. 51, Artavasdes threatened a descent upon Cappadocia; and Cicero, who was then governor of Cilicia, made preparations to meet him; but the defeat of Pacorus put a stop to his designs. (Plut. Crass. 19, 21, 22, 33; D. C. 40.16; Cic. Att. 5.20, 21, ad Fam. 15.2, 3.)

We next hear of Artavasdes in Antony's campaign against the Parthians in B. C. 36. Artavasdes joined the Romans, as he wished to injure his namesake Artavasdes, king of Media, with whom he was at enmity. He accordingly persuaded Antony to invade Media, but then treacherously deserted him, and returned with all his forces to Armenia. (D. C. 49.25, 31; Plut. Ant. 39, 50; Strab. xi. p.524.) The desertion of the Armenian king was one of the main causes of the failure of the Roman expedition [see p. 216a.]; and Antony accordingly determined to be revenged upon Artavasdes. After deferring his invasion of Armenia for a year, he entered the country in B. C. 34, and contrived to entice Artavasdes into his camp, where he was immediately seized. The Armenians thereupon set upon the throne his son Artaxias [ARTAXIAS II.]; but Artavasdes himself, with his wife and the rest of his family, was carried to Alexandria, and led in triumph in golden chains. He remained in captivity till B. C. 30, when Cleopatra had him killed, after the battle of Actium, and sent his head to his old enemy, Artavasdes of Media, in hopes of obtaining assistance from him in return. (D. C. 49.33, 39, 40, 50.1, 51.5; Plut. Ant. 50; Liv. Epit. 131; Vell. 2.82; Tac. Ann. 2.3; Strab. xi. p.532; J. AJ 15.4.3, B. J. 1.18.5.)

This Artavasdes was well acquainted with Greek literature, and wrote tragedies, speeches, and historical works, some of which were extant in Plutarch's time. (Plut. Crass. 33.)

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